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Bear!

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The Denali Highway: I drove the Denali Highway from Cantwell to Paxson. This was the most beautiful drive I’ve ever been on. The road was absolutely terrible, It is not plowed during the winter months and is only accessible by over-the-snow methods (dogsled, snowmachine). Only the first 20 miles on the east end from Paxson and the last two miles on the west end from Cantwell are paved. The remainder of the “highway” is dirt and gravel with potholes and washboards. I drove under 30 miles per hour the whole 135 miles. I got a flat tire. It was raining half the day. It was still the most wonder experience. It’s a “must do” if you come to Alaska. I plan to drive the whole thing from the other direction later in the summer. The Denali Chamber of Commerce was running a Denali Ramble promotion. You could enter to win the prize by post selfies from along the highway. I won a nice bag of Denali goodies. I didn’t see more than three or four other vehicles the whole trip, so my chances of winning seemed good. I did see a lot of people on bicycles.

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Back in the water. I’m teaching lessons again! The only pool for over 100 miles in any direction is this one. It’s a double Endless Pool - warm and beautiful.

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I went on a horseback riding tour. The cats were very interested in the horses. I found that my view during the tour was quite similar to the view when dogledding.

The tour operators were wonderful. This was an especially informative tour. The lady riding in front of me also taught me some new things about Denali. She grew up in Healy before the road linking Anchorage and Fairbanks. When she was young, her mother would snail mail their grocery list to Fairbanks. A week later, their groceries would arrive on the train.

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Finally made it inside the visitors center at the Park. It’s beautiful I watched the movie, and went on a guided nature hike. They have a great display of the area. I marked approximately where I live with a red square on the bottom right photo.

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Husky Homestead: 1. A couple staff members and I wait outside the theater during a tour for our cue to enter. 2. Musher / Kennel Owner, Meredith Mapes, visiting her puppies who are staying at Husky Homestead. 3. Staff enjoying pizza and ice cream in Skeeter, the common house.

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Bear! We had a bear take down one of the moose twins we’d all been watching for weeks - right outside the employee housing area. Here is some commentary about the incident. I didn’t show the photo of the carcass.

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The bear killed the calf behind the car that’s all the way on the left of the photo below. My van is in the center of the photo. The Shanty Town cabins are in the trees straight ahead. The white building all the way to the right is Skeeter. This is a pano photo with weird perspective. As I took this photo, the car was to my right and ahead of me, my van was straight ahead, and Skeeter is behind me.

I took apart a shelving unit and built a cage door in my van so I can keep the cats inside and still leave the doors open. That sliding door was all the way open as The morning of the bear/moose incident, I didn’t hear a thing - was asleep in the van right through all the action. (I celebrated my two month vaniversary on June 20. Two months of living in a van and I still love it!)

Construction!!! You think road construction is bad in Omaha in the summer. Trying having all the construction being on one road - the only road. You need a lot of patience to drive around here.

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Some of my favorite places in Alaska.

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Musher Sign Up and Volunteer Picnic: This was the most fun I’ve had to date. Mine was the first car in the lot that morning and almost the last to leave. I got to meat many of the mushers I’ve been watching and reading about. [Special thanks to Nicole, Catherine, and Carrie who covered for me and made it possible to attend this event in Wasilla.]

https://iditarod.com/40-mushers-enter-iditarod-xlviii-on-opening-day/

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  1. Watching the College World Series at 49th State

  2. Grocery store decor

  3. My windshield! Yikes!

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

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